Supping an alcohol-free beer no longer raises eyebrows at the pub, a report showed yesterday.
Almost three in five adults – 59 per cent – say they would feel comfortable ordering the driver-friendly option in front of their friends when they go out for a drink.
And nearly half – 49 per cent – reckon it is more socially acceptable now than it was five years ago.
More than half admit they have never tried it, with just 43 per cent of adults having given it the taste test – though among men the figure rises to 54 per cent.
Being the designated driver was the main reason for choosing the drink, with 46 percent giving this reply.
A further 39 per cent admitted they just tried it out of curiosity, according to the ComRes poll of 2,050 British adults commissioned by brewer AB InBev UK, which makes UK market leader Beck’s alcohol-free lager.
Drinkers in Yorkshire and Humberside were the most willing to go alcohol-free at 52 per cent, revealed the poll published in the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.
Those in Scotland (48 per cent), East of England (47 per cent) and West Midlands (46 per cent) were also all above the national average in terms of giving the beer a try.
Beck’s marketing manager Jennifer Anton said: “It is encouraging to see customers are comfortable ordering alcohol-free beers when out with friends.”
It does not mean Britons are going off their usual tipple, though – sales of beer, later and cider rose 6.8 per cent this year as the World Cup tournament was followed by a barbecue summer across the country.
Non-alcoholic cold drinks also got a boost from the warm weather with sales up 0.6 per cent on last year.